The Legacy We Leave

I remember only a few parts of my first day of kindergarten. I remember walking to the bus stop with my brothers. We sat down, my brothers sitting close to their friends, and me sitting quietly next to someone I didn’t know. And that’s it. That was 20 years ago.

Tomorrow I get to walk my firstborn down to the bus stop for his first day of kindergarten.

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard, “It goes so fast,” or have been told to enjoy the moments we have with them. I tend to ignore it after a while. But the past week? They weren’t joking, you guys. This all would probably be a bit easier if I weren’t 28 weeks pregnant and crazy hormonal. But this is hard. This feels like the hardest thing I’ve had to do in a long time.

As I’m sweeping my son in my arms for the next 18 hours before he leaves for school, I’m also acutely aware of all the stuff happening around us. All the world and its chaos. All the posts we’ve been sharing the past few days of, “This is not what Jesus is about.” I agree. The Church is not racism, white supremacy, bigotry, or any of it. We are not that. And while the posts are great, I’m hoping we’re less talk. Far less talk. So much so that we shut up and go out and do the hard work ourselves.

I’m sending my son out into the world tomorrow, and he won’t have me to hold his hand. He always holds my hand when we walk together. My other boys aren’t like that. They’ll run ahead. But Liam always finds his way back to me. He always grabs my hand and holds on tight, waiting for me to lead him.

Tomorrow he will go without me, without my hand, and slowly edge into becoming a person who isn’t so attached to me. I’ll let him go, and I’ll return to my home and remember where the rest of our nation and world is at today. How broken and frustrated people are. And how the next generation is at my feet.

The change isn’t in this post or whatever I share on Facebook or Twitter. The change isn’t in following other Christians who say it better than me. The change is in the way my feet are walking. The things I teach my kids. The way I tell them to treat people who look and act in a way that they don’t know.

You want the world to change? Be it.

I’ve always written about the woman and mom I want to be. I want to leave a legacy for my sons that reminds them how imperfect we all are and how perfect and good God is. And yet, we do our best to love people–all people–because that’s what was done for us.

Now is the time to be her: the woman who isn’t afraid. Who feels like she’s losing her baby, but trusting that God has got him in His hands. She walks in grace and love and knows she is called to act higher. She isn’t intimidated by race. She isn’t afraid to be told she’s grown up privileged. She is teachable, moldable, and incredibly imperfect.

I am her. I am struggling to be her. But I will fight nonetheless to be better, for the sake of the disciples at my feet. And where I fail, I point to Jesus. Where I mess up, I will admit it. And where I am weak, I remind them that it is Jesus who makes me strong.

I am reminded of 1 John 4:18. “There is no fear in love. But perfect love casts out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

No fear in love. Given perfect love by a perfect God. He drives out our fears. He makes us whole.

It is the legacy we must leave. You want change? Be it.

Published by Janelle Delagrange

Wife to a graphic designer, mom to three young boys, and writer of the soul.

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